How To Check If A Number Is On The Do Not Call List

Telemarketing calls are nothing new, but many people still receive them on a daily basis. If you do not recognize a phone number calling you, there is a good chance it is an unwarranted sales call. And while there are call-blocking apps and built-in tools on your phone that you can use to ward off sales calls, the easiest way to make sure you stop getting telemarketing calls is to simply add your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry. This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission that puts your phone number on a list that telemarketers are not allowed to call. But what if you’ve added your information to the list and you’re still receiving those pesky calls? Let’s dig into the details and how to check if your number is on the do not call list once you’ve registered.

Blocking Telemarketers With The Do Not Call List

Adding your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry is a simple, one-step process. If you have yet to do so, call 1-888-382-1222 or visit donotcall.gov, click “Register Your Phone,” and provide them with your number and email address. You will receive an email to complete your registration within a few days. From there, your number will be added to the DNC list by the following day. Within a month, the number of phone calls you receive from telemarketers should dramatically decrease.

However, we are often asked if there is a way to confirm that your phone number is on the Do Not Call Registry. Perhaps you are still receiving unwanted calls, or you are not sure your registration went through in the first place. To get peace of mind about your registration status, you’ll want to visit the same website you did when you originally registered, donotcall.gov.

How To Check If A Number is On the National Do Not Call List

Once you’ve pulled up the National Do Not Call Registry website, select “Verify Your Registration.” You’ll need to re-enter your phone number and email address. If you registered multiple phone numbers, you can check them all of the same time (up to three). Shortly after submitting your information, you will receive an email that will verify if your number is on the list and the exact day you were registered.

This information may be able to help you track at which point the telemarketing calls slowed down, if at all. If the number of unwanted calls did not decrease after the verified registration date, it may not be telemarketers’ phone numbers that you need to worry about (more on that in a bit).

How long does a number stay on the do not call list?

Phone numbers stay on the National Do Not Call Registry indefinitely. You can request that your phone number is taken off the call registry. The only other reason a number may be removed from the registry is if the phone line is deactivated.

What to do if you are on the Do Not Call list and still get calls?

If you have registered for the National Do Not Call Registry, you probably expected all those random calls to stop coming in. However, what many people do not realize is that many unwarranted calls are not from telemarketers. Instead, they are from spammers.

Through the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the National Do Not Call Registry was created to help stop telemarketers from cold calling strangers. It is illegal for them to do so if the person receiving the call has not granted the telemarketer permission to give them a sales call, which is where the registry comes in. By law, telemarketers must abide by the DNC list, which is only effective to a certain extent. Why? Well, telemarketers are not considered spammers because they work for legitimate businesses. Spammers, however, cannot be monitored as closely because they are working outside of the law. They are not running legitimate businesses that care about the legalities of the FTC’s registry, meaning spammers choose to ignore it and call you anyway.

Keep in mind, it is still completely legal for organizations to reach out to you for the following purposes:

  • political campaigns
  • charity
  • debt collection
  • informational calls
  • surveys

How To Report Unwanted Calls

Still receiving unwanted calls? You can report it to the FTC to help them keep track of where these calls are coming from. However, if you want to completely stop scammers and robocalls, you may need to take additional steps, such as downloading a mobile app on your phone. There are various paid and free apps to help detect spam calls and turn them away before they get a chance to go through.

To learn more about protecting yourself from spam, check out How To Report A Scammer To The Police.

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